This hair should be easy to extract, because of strong contrast, but from some reason it's not for me. Here is the original


Here is my result using quick selection tool
using quick selection

And here my best using Refine Edge feature
enter image description here

Any help ?
I'm using Photoshop cs5 extended.


2 Answers 2


I agree with Boblet. Making a channel and converting it into a selection is the way to go. I also use the brush and smudge tools to clean-up and enhance my selection to cutting it to make the hair look more realistic.


The magic wand tool is a fickle beast. You can play with the tolerance levels, but I would recommend just using a polygonal lasso to extract the hair, copying it to a new layer, and gently tending the edges with eraser/feather. Then, fill in the layer behind this new one with black as appropriate and you'll have a nice clean version.

enter image description here

**(very hastily done, but you get the idea)*

Side-by-side comparison

enter image description here

  • kcdwane, could you do the same using white as new background? It seems you just copied my original image.
    – qadenza
    Mar 18, 2014 at 17:30
  • You really can't tell the difference? I could, but it would require cutting out the entire subject, smoothing, and changing the background... Look closely at the hair..
    – kcdwayne
    Mar 20, 2014 at 11:55

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